Early arrival & sitter experience

As someone maybe approaching “experienced” although nothing like others on the forum, I really value an in person handover. Our first sit we never met the owners (neither virtually nor in person) it turned out great but knowing what I do now I wouldn’t do that again!

I’d also want to guard against thinking I know how people manage their homes and pets. Everyone is so different. It sounds like the poster had a really frustrating experience (I’ve had this at an air bnb where I just couldnt get the guy to leave and stop explaining things). That’s not the norm on sits though - hopefully an anomoly for you!

From what I’ve experienced, HOs vary a lot. Some are highly trusting. Like I did one sit where the house was very clean and orderly — military family. They left limited, but clear guidance on how to feed their cat and noted that she was old and would sleep lots, but the directions were easygoing about the house.

Another family were totally casual. They even had in their welcome guide that sitters should feel free to invite guests, because they had a great outdoor space.

I haven’t actually had sits where the HOs seemed worried about their homes, even though they’ve had lovely ones. They’ve tended to be older couples who’ve seen and done a lot and seem to have good resources. They seemed carefree, LOL.

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I’ve posted here where a new HO wanted me to turn up 4 days early and book into the local resort hotel at some cost to me. I declined such a sit.
Yet I’ve sat in a few 7 figure homes where I’ve had little or no hand over. The HO’s were most concerned about their pets.

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Agree that the time requests are too much. I don’t know if I agree a badge is the answer, but I think HO should be limited on guests time prior to sit. And a mandatory Welcome Guide, so everything is agreed to in writing.

There are HO who have 4 hour walkthroughs. I just did one: they wanted me to “come by” a week prior or stay the night before the sit. It was a 2 hour round trip drive, then 2.5 hours walking through everything (and some stuff was really basic), then arriving early day of to get “tested” - and then they left 2 hours later than agreed. They also wouldn’t send a Welcome Guide prior which was very uncomfortable.

I work in a very specific field that requires a lot of planning and detail. All that was needed was a map of the property with major points (like water timers), a few videos, a Welcome Guide and a 45 min hand off upon arrival. Keep it simple.

I have been invited several days early because the HO had seen a gap in my calendar. And because they were a bit anxious about me arriving in time. They had plenty of independent space for a guest. So that was very nice, a few days for tourism without pet duties. It saved me some money for accommodation. And there was opportunity for settling in, getting acquainted with the owners, with the house, with the pets.

But I learn better when I need to figure out things for myself, like the layout of the streets etc.